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Does Chamakh deserve to start against United? That was not for the faint-hearted……

On a night of pulsating emotions, one which only Arsenal could manage to put its fans through, the Gunners managed to make the mother of all comebacks.

From 4-0 down after 37 minutes and with all Arsenal fans fearing the worst, somehow, the team managed to claw its way back from the dead to win 7-5 in the end.

Make no mistake, this was one heck of a roller coaster ride and not for the faint-hearted.

Here is the line up and the timing of the substitutions:

Arsenal: Martinez, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Djourou, Miquel (Meade 105), Arshavin, Frimpong (Giroud 62), Coquelin, Walcott, Chamakh, Gnabry (Eisfeld 62).

Subs Not Used: Shea, Squillaci, Bellerin, Yennaris.

We fans believed that the starting eleven was a good, one which could win last nights clash, albeit marginally.

But what we saw unfold in the first half made us think twice and look on in horror.

During a comedy of comedies, Arsenal managed to contrive to put itself  4-0 down after 37 minutes. With fans fearing the worst and some of them already leaving the ground, those of us who chose to remain, steeled ourselves for a night on par with the 8-2 mauling at OT.

At one point some of the Arsenal players were playing so badly that anyone could count on one hand the amount of players who were putting in a shift.  In fact I guess one finger would have been difficult to fill up with a name. For all their expensive players Arsenal were dishing up a performance not even worthy of Sunday league Football.

Between the 12th and 18th minute Arsenal managed to create for themselves an utter disaster, where Jenkinson, Miguel, Koscielny and Djourou defended with inexcusable naivety. Noel Hunt, Hal-Robson Kanu,  Jason Roberts, Chris Gunther and Mikele Leigertwood all contrived to mock the above mentioned back line. And how they enjoyed doing that, they seemed to dance to every goal that went in and at that stage it was three!.

The crowd at the Madjeski stadium could hardly believe what they were seeing, especially when a fourth went in after Gareth Macleary’s cross from the right found its way in courtesy of a header by Hunt.

I was not impressed with what Arsenal were giving the fans.  And neither were those at the Madejski seeing that some of them  were already leaving while those left began chanting ‘We want our Arsenal back’.

Arsenal laboured and laboured and could barely string a good attack together. The midfield were not giving enough cover to the defence and the latter were like headless chickens running around without any shape or direction.

And then the comeback began. It was route one goal through the centre. Just before half-time, Andrei Arshavin passed a through ball for Theo to race onto and he made no mistake with a lifted shot over Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici.

Arsenal started the second half a lot differently to the first, we were attacking more, desperately searching for a second goal. Even route one football was tried, anything just to get us back in the game.

Then the miracle began around the sixty minute mark, as too did the first substitutions.

Giroud and Eisfeld came on for Gnabry and Frimpong and as Wenger confirmed after the game, we went 4-2-4, all at attack to get this game back..

The second goal came from the most unlikely, that being a corner and this one was taken by Theo Walcott. Giroud got his head onto the cross and fired home with great pace past Federici. It really was a great header..

The match ticked on and for all their effort it seemed as if the team were going to pay for their first half lacklustre and careless attitude.

With only a minute left Koscielny managed to steer the ball home for what seemed a consolation goal and a respectable loss of 4-3.  The fourth official signalled 4 minutes of added time.

However in the 95th minute, the referee having added on an extra minute after Reading carried out a bit of time-wasting, we bombarded the Reading goal for what would surely be the last time. Walcott’s shot towards goal, the ball clearly crossed the line but was not given, the Reading player scrambled it out (with his hand it looked like) only as far as Jenkinson who blasted the ball into the back of the net!

(The goal was later credited to Walcott)

But who cared at that moment, it could have gone in off of anyone for all I cared.  Yes even the ball boy!

We were level and still alive in the cup.

Extra time started well for Arsenal who looked on the front foot now. The momentum was with us and Reading were feeling the effects of someone who thought that he had conquered the Italian love of his life only to see her in the arms of someone else.

Suddenly the game burst again into life when Chamakh fired a low shot through the legs of Kaspars Gorkss and beyond Federici’s outstretched fingers  to put Arsenal ahead for the first time.  The Reading fans did what some of the Arsenal fans did earlier…….and that was leave the stadium.

Pogrebnyak headed past Martinez to make the scoreline a mind-boggling 5-5. What would Mourinho have to say about this?  He had derided Arsenal once for winning 5-4.  But drawing 5-5?  Surely there must have been only one somewhere who believed in such a score and betted on it?

With the game heading to penalties Walcott put us back in front and everyone thought that was it, but Chamakh had other ideas and having acquired the scoring bug which was missing since December 2010, he decided a famous victory.

As Reading attacked, the ball came to Walcott half way inside our own half. He played a long ball up the field which the Reading defender misjudged. The ball fell kindly to the Moroccan, who lobbed the ball over Federici to make the scoreline 7-5.

There was no comeback from Reading this time…..

Surely Arsene Wenger must start Chamakh against United at Old Trafford, he wants a hat-trick.

We can only wait and see.

Is this a footballing side?  You can bet it is.  But it surely is not a defensive side.

Next up those from Old Trafford.  And we have a score to settle.

Written by Devilgunner.

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240 comments on “Does Chamakh deserve to start against United? That was not for the faint-hearted……

  1. Roller coaster, breathtaking, heart stopping I’m running out of cliches.

  2. 2nd… See ya lata Adam

  3. Very good Mr Devilgunner.

    Nice articel.

    And now I am off. My break is over. I will may see you tomorrow. Or this eveneing

  4. 1st.
    Absolutely Mr Allezkev. Cha Cha Moon at 12.30.

  5. Morning all…

    Good write up devil…. thanks you..

    What really made me chuckle was Giroud and Coquelin throwing their shirts into the fans at 4-4.

    Followed quickly by a quick scrabble to get them back for E/T…

    Shocking shocking first half.

    Scored at a really good time, gave Reading something to think about as us some momentum.

    Better second half and extra time but really not good for the heart….

  6. Hey dev- I am not even going to compliment you on this one… :D

    Not for the faint-hearted should be the warning for watching Arsenal.

    Hey DG- just chuck some of the illegal stuff you are shipping over board and get my gel to me asap otherwise I will get AIVD and Mcpurple face on your case. you wouldn’t want that would you? lol

    The kiddies museum looks very good.. cheers

  7. See you later Clorinda.

  8. Enjoy the moment guys….it is a win people will never forget.

  9. As some of you know, I am a numerical clairvoyant which means I predicts people’s future with the help of numbers that are significant to them. A series of seemingly random events yesterday evening revealed the 5-7 score to me before kick-off.

  10. Personally I think there is no way chamakh should start!
    Yeah he finished the game off well but still he had no end product in the first 90 minutes of the game and he kept losing the ball and then half hearted tried to win it back… Oh and a normal game is just 90 minutes not 120 so he needed to prove himself in the first 90!!!

  11. Theo Walcott = The new corner taker??

    Finally we score and not only one from a corner….. :)

  12. Hiyyaaaa Rico and Housers.

    ..still smiling..That was just mind blowing and from where did Cham get those shooting boots? If only he had done this more often.

    Btw, it just proves that putting together a group of 11 players who have not played together often and are short of fitness or rusty don’t make a team. And if they do, it takes at least 45 mins of battering.


    JD is our lucky captain. When he is captain, we win..lol..

  13. Had you just watched a replay of the second set in the Wimbledon final Adam ;)

  14. I’m with you there Kane…. I’m hoping his goals will inspire another club to make a bid for him…

  15. You don’t believe in the power of numbers Rico?
    David Icke, my mentor, does.

  16. Btw Rico after the game almost every youngster went on to throw their shirts in the crowd.

    And another shocker was the commentary from Sky was good and more of unbiased. Well done to Nial Quinn as well.

  17. As a gooner, I am relieved we got the points. However, there are a lot of things I would like to discuss. First and foremost, Djourou should be on the ‘for sale’ list in January. It is obvious he will never be of the standard required to play for arsenal. Making him captain was an even worse decision. Our defense in general was non existent, but I think he was at the center of it. Secondly, Frimpong isn’t the player everyone thinks he is. His misplaced passes and ineptitude in general show that he still has a lot to learn. He could benefit from a loan elsewhere. Then there is Olivier Giroud. If there’s one thing his goal showed us, it is that the first team clearly do not know how to get the best out of him. His header was sublime, top quality. He clearly lacks the kind of aerial service that would see him on the score sheet more often. It is because in our starting 11, there aren’t any good crossers except cazorla who plays centrally so doesn’t really get into good crossing positions. Arsene should work with the team on that. Finally, there’s Theo Walcott. That boy is by far the best finisher we have (save for maybe poldi). I still don’t get why arsene denies him his opportunity up front when he is currently our top scorer. He is a much better striker than gervinho. He can, and given the chance, will be our 25+ goal a season striker. His pace, movement, composure and finishing are superb to say the least. He has greatly improved his first touch and ball control to the point where he doesn’t need two chances to score. All this compounded with the fact that he scores from all angles in front of goal leave me bewildered when Arsene would rather start Gervinho there and deny Walcott his chance. I hope his hat trick knocked some sense into arsene’s head and we will see him as our front man in games to come.

  18. Tony Adams looked happy anyway.

  19. Here’s a warning to all of you, I usually record the game and start watching after about half to three quarters of an hour. By doing so I can miss out the gormless pre-match chatter as well as the half time none-sense. I did this last night, and guess what? the recording stopped just at the start of the second period of extra-time.

    Thanks to emma, I was able to watch the highlights this morning so all was not lost.

    I think in future I will watch live :-)

  20. Good write up Devil. For me,although I’m thrilled with the win, this only papers over the cracks. We should never have found our selfs 4 goals down after 37 min.

    It is worrying how bad we are becoming again defensibly at the same time as our creativity seems to have taken a knock. Play like that on Saturday and we will be destroyed.

    We need another player to start sharing the creativity with JW and Santi, good defender to challenge TV for position and and striker. That striker could be TW, I have never thought him good enough to become one but why not give him a try.

  21. Rico on your 10.08…..give Theo a rest please :)

  22. Chamakh was defo a star last night even Giroud!! just shows that wenger doesnt give them enough time on the pitch to sign.. I bet if chamakh was still playing regular you would see more of last night!

    PS Walcott need to play up front he was immense last night!

  23. Chamakh should go in the hall of fame. Above the lady with the 2 wet noses. If anybody may claim moist our shiza piper takes the crown.

    TSGH I dropped a message in a bottle and threw it in the pond. It will arrive the coming days at tide times. It’s basically a rain cheque until I can get my hands on whale blubber for your cranium. I’m going joint venture with Adam on this hype.

  24. Now if we can just avoid a mauling at OT!

  25. Another under cover brotha… Adam?

    We will need all we can for the old toilet match. will OG12 be able to play the first 60 minutes? I hope he does. poldi should be having a look at the young German Einstein.

  26. Lmao DG. I should have known I could not trust a dutch man who works as the hype man for David Icke….lol

  27. TsGH. When I read an earlier post of yours this morning I realised that you are of the brotherhood. A virtual handshake with extended thumbs to you….

  28. Hi S2S..

    Ha ha Adam, what is Mr Icke up to these days….

  29. Do not take the name of Ickeman in vain!

  30. I don’t think Chamakh will get a look in on Saturday. If we play Walcott up front we will have no pace on the wings. I think we will need a better left back than Santos, so Sagna should play there with Jenkinson on the right.

    Gotta go, time for my weekly swim.

    Back later.

  31. Devil great match report. At 5 in the morning you’re as sharp as a razor, skinning last night’s events naked.

  32. I went to buy a Dracula costume for Halloween the girl brought me out a West Ham shirt.. I said “I think you misheard me, I said I want to look like a Count!!”

  33. S2S, good for the kids too, and agree re Quinn, he did excel himself last night…

    TT – same here, thrilled with the way we fought back, but crickey, how poor was our midfield and defence in the first half.

    Simply awful, the mature players really let the kids down in the first half too…

    Papering over the cracks? Too right it is…..

  34. He just hosted some seminars Rico. I attended while he pointed out who amongst us is a lizard that drinks children’s blood. He named the Queen, Cameron and Chamakh.

  35. Hi Lee. Not in Carnaby Street this lunchtime by any chance are you?

  36. No, one reasonable performances does not equate to a first team start

    All those Arsenal fans leaving the ground when the 4th Reading goal went in must feel really stupid this morning as they missed witnessing one of the greatest ever comebacks.
    However there were many lessons to be learned from this match.
    Firstly our backup centre backs are just not good enough – what has happened to Koscielny this season ? I hope players like Djourou are just moved on in the rumoured (again) clear-out in January.
    The midfield was non-existent in the first half, but thankfully we are well covered here by all the players that were not in the side last night. However Thomas Eisfeld was about the biggest plus for me when he came on. I have been watching him in reserve games and he has impressed me enormously. He looks and plays like Jack Wilshere – what a prospect.
    Most importantly Wenger must give the central striking partnership of Giroud & Walcott a good try to bring out the best in both of them. This could also solve the Theo contract wrangle if it works as well as last night.
    I just hope Wenger takes this competition more seriously now as being in the quarter-finals it may be our best chance of a trophy this season. Not too great, but at least it would silence the ‘no silverware for 7 years’ brigade.

  37. I hope we get Bradford next round

    Lee – :lol:

  38. Adam stop telling lies. You write the gibberish for Icke and you take a good wack on the gate sales. :D

    I bet your name is Redshield in German. lol

  39. The media blame AW for demeaning the tin cup but what about the southamptons of this world. making 11 changes?

  40. TsGH. I take it you are referring to Rothschild?

  41. You are on fine form this morning Adam….

    jim, good comment, agree especially re Theo, really hope he can get his chance centrally and show us all what we have been missing…

    Eisfeld was superb, my only gripe is he shoots too much ;)

    Jenks struggled a bit last night, was that down to himself, or having JD alongside him instead of Merts?

  42. Whilst celebrating a famous and historical victory, we cannot lose sight of our humiliating first half performance. For the fourth match running our manager and coach have sent out a totally demotivated team to represent AFC. We just cannot ignore this. Anyway lets see if this amazing comeback can lift spirits at the club, and that we can send out a fully motivated team to do battle at Old Trafford on Saturday.

  43. AW takes the competition serious its just not a priority. Why are teams like Wigan fielding weaken teams and we get slated for playing internationals in the CoC

  44. Hall of fame for Chamakh Dg, not where I’d put him ;)

  45. Ah Adam. I was trusting you not to break you cover… lol

  46. Thank you Rico.
    Have no fear, Mr Ice Field’s propensity to strike the ball goalwards will be coached out of him soon enough. :)

  47. TsGH. You drew me out with your cunning. :)

  48. Good to see Meade is being replayed over and over on SS’s – the way he rode that naughty tackle, one little roll and up on his feet to shake the Reading players hand…

    Take note Suarez and Ashley Young!!

  49. Morning all,
    To quote the late great Sid Waddell “That’s the greatest comeback since Lazarus”

  50. I was pleased to see that he is no relation to Raphael “Mugger” Meade.

  51. I WANT THE 57th COMMENT.

  52. Because we are so desperate to win something Tdgh, whereas for other clubs it is deemed acceptable to go many many seasons/years without a trophy…

    I’m sure it will Adam, i am sure it will…

    They went daft last night, one moment no shots, and the next shot after shot – and mostly when a simple pass would possibly have got us a goal…

    Still, can’t be too picky I guess ;)

  53. I WANT THE 57th COMMENT!!

  54. I WANT THE 57th COMMENT.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  55. I WANT THE 57th COMMENT. Got it.

  56. Ah DG. You, like me, recognise the power of numbers!

  57. After all the crap,how big a boost would it be if we do in fact extend Theos contract??

  58. Adam I’m even sleeping at a 33 degree angle. ;)

  59. Did you get it DG ;)

  60. I am glad to hear it DG. Never underestimate numbers. I arrived back at Gatwick airport yesterday early evening and noticed David Hillier at the baggage check out. As he slipped a jar of Chamakh hair gel into his pocket from a suitcase I realised that the name Hillier has seven letters. So I realised that we would score Seven goals. At dinner I left five small chunks of Feta cheese. The rest is history.

  61. Got to extend it…

  62. But it’s all about money Scott and TW is not worth it….

  63. Funny enough – We were at one stage in the match, 750-1 to win in…

    The 7 & 5 is in there…..

  64. You’re getting it now Rico. :)

  65. I agree, we must extend his contract, but then you all know that’s how I feel ;)

  66. No I’m not Carnaby St bound aujourd’hui Adamicke…we sorting a Dec lunch out? Somewhere windswept and also accessible to those that live off the M4 corridor or has that ship sailed?

  67. Adam got the 57th I think, who is going to get the 75th ;)

    I am always a bit slow on the uptake Adam….

  68. Great crowd vid. Listen to the sound. ‘ It’s not over mate. It’s not over!! ‘

  69. It probably is,and he probably isn’t Rico,but the goodwill might be worth the effort.

  70. Lee. A shame. I am to meet Mr Allezkev there soon to buy a pair of Cuban heel boots for myself. As far as the M4 corridor goes I think we might have to arrange for some wild horses for that one. They have good carrots down that way I hear.

  71. I wouldn’t mind at all re TW14 contact. Watching him last night makes we think AW has done all the good work and someone else is going to enjoy…

    As Rico noticed it seems AW has given up on him. The board again will not give him any increment considering he is English. Stuart Robson will come and say AW dishes out the contracts for the gullible to believe o it is AW fault.

    AW even stated he was very supportive of ripping the pay structure to shreds.

    For those who thought/think AW is so powerful should have a look at where they placed him on the head table during the AGM.

    Adam can you confirm that based on your experience from the brotherhood, that placing someone on the LHS at the end of the line away from the centre shows you are irrelevant. ;)

    I bet next year if AW does not toe the line he will be sitting amongst the audience at the AGM.

    What the board have done to AW is what the very secretive sectors call ‘making someone eat their own brains’.

    What that means is you make someone bring out an idea and then later on hold him to task to his own idea. That pay structure was meant to be short term until we were back in the black but the board believe it is a bloody good idea so are unwilling to budge.

  72. Agree Rico 100% re Good to see Meade is being replayed over and over on SS’s – the way he rode that naughty tackle, one little roll and up on his feet to shake the Reading players hand…

    Take note Suarez and Ashley Young!!

  73. TsGH. Let me get my Enigma code book out for that one mate.

  74. Dg, is there a vid anywhere of the i/v with Jenks and Theo after the game please??

    Rift, what rift?

  75. Night all……have a great day.

  76. Ah so DG you live at no.13, 666 Bramford Building, zip Code Rosemary Baby. ;)

    And Adam lives on 9-11 Hotel california,6114 Californai Street.Hot Springs

    So what are you folks doing as it is halloween today?

  77. Emma do you have it? Jenks/Theo iv.

    Adam :P Hillies.

  78. Well I totally disagree Scott about him being worth it, and I say that looking at the way our club pay players….

    In the real world, no player is worth it, but we pay dross, absolute shocking players £50k a week, and on that alone, Walcott is worth a little pay rise…

    This season he is earning his money…

    But, and as I keep on saying, when he goes, he will haunt us and to sign a better winger, how much will we have to fork out….

  79. whisper it quietly, but I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Theo up front (God, I feel dirty after saying that!)

  80. See you Scott, Hi emma…

  81. :lol: rocky….

  82. Anyone else see Arteta and Cazorla’s interview on Sky last night? My wife now has a thing for Arteta!

  83. Crazy match last night. Very impress with Thomas Eisfeld. He had the midfield in his palm yesterday. Dictating the tempo and delivery neat quick passes to the forward runner which frimps could not do. Still think Frimps is not 100% match fit. At this rate I would prefer Eisfeld over Ramsey. He rarely lose the ball. Love it when he lobbed the ball over a reading player on one of his move in the midfield. Kos looks rusty. He needs games. That’s not the same kos we saw last season.

  84. Frimps is off on loan soon i think emma… Don”t think anyone will argue re Eisfeld, he’s very very good…

    Kos rusty, or the real Kos back again? Jury is out for me…

  85. Miqel is REALLY not good enough. He had a shocker again yesterday. Can barely last 75 minutes before he’s running in treacle. At one point, Jason Roberts (yes, Jason Roberts…..) seriously mugged him off on the touchline and sprinted away from him. Jason Roberts shouldn’t do that against me, let alone a top flight defender. But he caused him and Djourou problems all match.

  86. Kos needs to get a lot better. And fast.

  87. Off to the gym. Back in a bit

  88. TSGH I’m at the Bohemian Lodge Conference kneeling down at the big wise bird. Chanting numbers of the beast. Halloween custom; a oversized black dragging monk hoodie and a goat head.

  89. I wouldn’t mind Roberts being on our bench…..

  90. Morning Rocky… :D

    A bit hush on Miguel. I thought in the 2nd half he offered much more going forward than CJ25. And this is his 3rd time playing at LB for us. I agree he was poor first half but JR is a lump and a half. Miguel got no help grom Gnabry defensively.

    As I have always said we are very hard on some of our fullbacks. CJ25 struggled yesterday with TW14 in front of him until Chamakh moved their later in the game.

    Cashley cole struggled against Valencia and Raphael last weekend because hazard offered him no help at all…

  91. I rate any player Stefan Effenberg rates ie Eisfield

  92. Gnabry is good but was poor last night. He is 17 and still have a lot to learn. He wasn’t helping out in defending as he left miguel all on his own. That is a part of his game he needs to improve. I believe Eisfeld is ready for the first team. He is a cross b/w wilshere and rosicky

  93. TSGH

    We can soon expect an alien invasion. When they ask for our leader, best chance of survival is to send them Lady Gaga.

    So yeah, I endorse the smelly out of preservation of our species.

  94. True Emma he says his fave player is the lil Mozzart. I know we did not get to see the best of the mozzart but he is revered in Germany and in Dortmond

  95. Dutch, how badly did Jenks want that goal and he weren’t messing either.

  96. Can we stop the Chamakh parase please, there was quite clearly a conspiracy last night and whoever that was with the gelled hair in the 29 shirt clearly was NOT Chamakh !! The real Chamakh doesn’t shoot, let alone shoot fom outside the box, let alone score, let alone score multiple goals !!

  97. Chamakh praise even. Apologies to any spelling police.

  98. Ha ha ha DG…

    Tell Adam I have my right eye covered looking at him with my left one…

  99. I love that i/v Dg, thanks….

  100. ha ha ha Ryan leslie… you will find the real Chamakh was released from Nevada State Penitentiary yesterday after serving jail term for putting KY gel in his hair instead of Camel fat.

  101. Hi Micko.. Was something else wasn’t it…

    emma, agree on Gnabry too, really good player, just bad, very bad last night, as was Frimps, both need experience alongside them at the moment imho…. Arteta being the obvious…
    :) Ryan, it was a fluke….

  102. Micko clearly Jenks put it beyond doubt. The linesman held his flag down and the ref pointed to kickoff spot after the net curled. So it could’ve easily been a swing vote leaving only a stare at the bottom of a barrel faces post match. Theo needs to chop the ball in half. If you ask me.

  103. Ryan, even the sun can shine on a dog’s arse sometimes.

  104. Emma, that was like earwigging in on a private conversation.

  105. Thanks Emma. Awesome video

  106. As a mate said, you can’t polish a turd….but you can roll it in glitter!

  107. Yep Micko and even a stopped watch is right twice a day. But I am not having it that that was Chamakh !! A conspiracy I tell ya !!

  108. or roll it in gel was my reply….

  109. What’s Gary got to do with it Lee ;)

  110. Just watched that vid with the two Spanish boys, super….

  111. Careful you don’t cut yourself rico.

  112. Ha ha Micko….

  113. Good Afternoon my Esteemed Fellow Gunners.

    Thanks for the positive comments regarding my match report.

    But I can assure you that it was not written by me only.

    Rico did her bit also. So praise must go to her also.

    You know what??? I am still pumped up from yesterday.

  114. What is the betting we draw one of tonights winners in the draw later….

    If we are to, I hope it’s Norwich….

  115. Afternoon devil….

    It’s one day that I don’t mind having sky sports news on in the background…

  116. I do not know about you all.

    But yesterday signalled the turn around in our fortunes.

    That is in my opinion.

    I might be mistaken.

    But I have that feeling of the turn around.

  117. Up till now the players always went by with what AW told them.

    Yesterday they took it by the scruff of the neck and did it their way.

    No sideways passing or backwards.

    It was directly forward or diagonally.

    Route one football.

    Reminiscent of the 2002,2004 team.

    Smash, bang wallop and into the net the ball flew.

  118. at 4-0 down we were 720-1 to win CoC, we are now 5.9-1 favourites…. :lol:

  119. Couldn’t agree less devil, think it shows we’ve got a long way to go before we’re outta the woods.
    Hopefully act as a slap in the face to everyone involved last night, the result went our way but it was a shocker.
    The game on Saturday will go a long way to telling us.

  120. I am off now dear friends.

    Training is calling me and I have to see two sessions today, plus analyze a junior coach who is doing his first exam. (The thing I really hate).

    cu all later in the evening.

  121. 720 – 1????? Oh SHIT.

    I should have betted 5 Euros then. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  122. I hope its a change in fortune devil, although i’d rather we had a squad that could win things without fortune favouring us….

  123. Lee. re your 12.34 – It’s still just a glitter covered turd though at the end of the day!

  124. Laters devil..

    emma – he’s already got it in the HH ‘back of the net’ :)

    Micko – agree, OT will show us a lot, but I’m not sure many of us really need this game on Saturday to tell us where we think we are….

  125. I mentioned this earlier but the more I see TW’s corners, the better they get. Right pace, swinging in and end up nearly on the penalty spot and from both left and right……..

    Surely he has to take them all…. Merts will love them!

  126. Afternoon TsGH – I really just don’t rate Miquel (or whatever his name is) at all. Just don’t think he has teh physical strength or the nous to play here. He is always woefully short of fitness at around the 70 min mark. I agree he wasn’t helped out much. I don’t care if Roberts IS a lump. he shouldn’t have got away from him like that, so easily. LB or CB…. Just don’t think he has it. May be proved wrong. And it deosn’t say much for Bartley if he was allowed to go and Miquel stay!

  127. rico – He needs to sign da thing :)

  128. I didn’t watch the game yesterday., but 4-0 at 37th minutes…?
    I’ve seen the goals. :-)
    MU plays today… maybe good
    Our weakness was where? Frimpong? Gnaby? Kos? Martinez? All of them?

  129. rico – TW corners far better than Cazorla’s

  130. He does emma… I truly hope that the club and Walcott’s agent can meet halfway, last night should have shown AW what the guy can do centrally, gee, even rocky wants to see him get a chance…

    Gnabry isn’t ready to take his place yet…

  131. JM None of which should feature at OT..

    Really hope both Mancs and Chavs field strong sides and it’s a tough tough game, nasty tackles, red cards and penalties :)

  132. Not just because it was Theo emma, I’d say those last night that he took, were the best corners we have seen for a long long time….

  133. rico – Gnabry is still learning his trade. I think it was too early for AW to throw him into the frame. He was defensively weak as he was not covering for miguel. Mr. Eisfeld is ready

  134. TW and Giroud have to start at OT, after that, they can rest…. well, until Tuesday when we play Shalke again :(

  135. As do I emma – I think he’s going to be a great player, but until he is really ready, playing him alongside experience is the only way. It was unfair on him and Frimpong imho….

    But, if TW leaves, we all know Gnabry will be his replacement…

    And that is all wrong….

    Eisfeld, definitely ready….

  136. rico – We still need Walcot. I hope he ‘sign da thing’.

  137. and extra time and penalties rico. :.-)
    dutch, what is your opinion about Jordi Clasie?

  138. Have to pop off for a while now, catch up a little later….

  139. rico – I am with you on TW starting at OT. At least we ve got Sagna back who has the energy/horse engine to cover the Rightback even if TW decides not to track back

  140. emma, you know my view on Theo, i desperately want him to ‘sign da ting’ :)

    Few reds too JM ;)


  141. He’s off to replace Nani… :(

  142. But if we dare to go 442 emma ;)

    Tsgh – that’s what i think too, as it stands right now….

    Def gone now ;)

  143. AW looks depressed don’t you think?

  144. Mad isn’t it, BFG is our best CB at the moment…who would of called that last season (apart from AK)
    Your ears burning Rico?

  145. Say that again..lol

    Saying that TV looked better than kompany in the Belgium games..

  146. Ginge, TV and Kos really haven’t impressed me….

  147. Both gone backwards from last season, imho.

  148. Lee…. I called Big Bad Merts last year. And before the start of this season. You and AK laughed at me when I said it after our first curry club!

  149. Kozzer has been desperately bad so far.

  150. He has been. What are I am trying to emphasze is that even though we think TV is bad imho he is playing better than the defender most believed was the best defender in the world last year.

    I saw Belgium 2 last qualifiers and Kompany looked jaded.

  151. That is true Rocky, you did! I thought you were mental, tbh!!

  152. Wouldn’t be a million miles away from the truth Lee!

  153. Hi Lee and Rocky. Just had a bowl of noodles with Kev. What a gentleman! Bloody Central Line though.

  154. I’m looking forward to tonight’s clash between the Chavs and Manure. There is a rumour going round that a United Nations peace force has been deployed around the stadium and the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz is sailing up the Thames in case reinforcements are needed.

  155. Afternoon Gooners… Happy Gooners…

    Mind you I still dread Old Toilet…
    Tbh a draw up there would be a massive result.

    Afternoon Adam, still problems on the tube then mate.
    Really enjoyed lunch amigo…
    Lee, you are becoming the Guardian of HH…
    Any trolls and you’re on ‘em…
    How’s work going. I hear that the US Stock Market is back in biz…

    Rocky, got your text mate… Still can’t quite believe that score line.

  156. Scouse Emma. Queen of the Vids. Good work from up on the Mersey… :-)

  157. Not forgetting Dutch.
    Our very own William of Orange.
    Great vids

  158. great article devilgunner, i almost feel like i was there because of your excellent write up. I know that back four yesterday has sufficient talent… I have to believe our midfield was horrible and disorganized, not just lazy. i have always thought Frimpong needs a good long loan, i love him as a Gunner, but he is far from ready for our team…

  159. and Rico…good point about Walcott’s corners.. there is always luck and alot of things involved scoring from corners, but they did seem to be very well placed from Theo.. just makes it more painful to think how we screwed up his whole situation.

  160. Evening guys and gals..

    What a horrid night, just got home and driving in this nasty weather is… well, nasty ;)

  161. Evening all,
    What a great post, it was like watching it again well done sir, Pretty certain Wenger will keep playing these players untill were not lucky. Personally i find teams like this unaceptable, supporters are being ripped of,They travel to support their team and they deserve to see the best team Arsenal can produce. Although last nights game had me on the edge of my chair, i feel that the players he played last night are either on the vergr of leaving or players that will still take a long long time before there ready for the first team supporters deserve better

  162. Buon Pomeriggio everyone.

    It is raining there Ms Rico? Here it is snowing and we find it hard to go out.

    So its indorrs for me to rest.

    I wish we could get a little team in the next round. But being Arsenal we will get a very strong one.

    Who would you like to be our opponents?

  163. Hi Nt, I do come out with something useful sometimes ;)

  164. Hi Steve and Clor…

    Norwich for me please in the next round..

    Steve, I too wish we would take the league cup more seriously, its not as it trophies are over flowing…..

  165. Its throwing it down with rain btw and the trick or treaters are getting wet – hoorah….

  166. you get trick and treats also there?

    here we have them also. I had three knocks on the door this evening. A group of children nearly gave my cat a fright poor thing. But its all in funny laugh. I like giving sweets.

    Sometimes we also get young men who like to be romantic. You know, Italian gents like to be amorous.

  167. Eveninf Rico, as you know i have allways backed Wenger but he gets on my tits with these kind of games, It has been proved over and over that massive changes does not work we were lucky and if i was a trveling supporter i would definitly not travel for this competition .

  168. I also would like to prefer Norwich at Home. But we lost against them no?

    So Middlesbourgh home for me. It is better.

  169. I don’t open the door Clor, annoying little brats…

    I know how you feel about selection and rotation Steve, don’t think I have ever seen so many as we made last night and it certainly showed.

    The plus for me was Giroud scoring another, which was a cracking powerful header, just what we all hoped he would do. Walcott got three and he looked good, ready for OT I hope and Eisfeld showed just how good he is…

    AA worked hard and lasted the entire game which before now, his fitness has been questioned…

    But yes, we should have fielded a side to get by last night a lot easier than we did. Many would say that the starting 11 should have, but for me, too much inexperience clumped together…

  170. Norwich at home and we’d batter them, no way will they beat us again this season.

  171. Hi Clorinda. So, are you from the north of Italy then? In the mountains?

  172. Yes Adam. From Braies. And in the mountains too.

    But I like travelling a lot.

    Every year I go somewhere in Europe. This summer it was Holland. Very nice too. But I spend only 6 days there. I work at a factory and do not have much time.

  173. Back in twenty minutes. Something to do,

  174. Adam,i think Devil did some recruing whilst on holidays!!
    Morning all.

  175. Eisfeld… I can see us saying that name for a long time to come. Hope he doesn’t end up wanting to go back home to Dortmund after 6 years.
    I should go back to my Chamakh comments yesterday but that’s too much work. I’m just happy the lad had a good game. He played a big role for us when he just got here and i know he has more in him. The emotions of yesterday’s game should do him a world of good.
    Giroud came on and looked a notch above the rest for me. He seemed to have the air of the accomplished player coming in to whip the kids into shape.
    Theo looked an inspired player too. He was much more assured in his touches. His movement was great.

    I don’t have to say anything about the first 35 minutes do i?

    One word of advice for this team. Do the things that make Arsenal who were are. Understand that teams won’t allow us to win simply because we are Arsenal. But we must show them what makes us Arsenal. Every time. Every minute of every game.

  176. in http://www.eurosport.com
    A rare handful of football matches defy any kind of rational explanation, and Arsenal’s quite unbelievable 7-5 win away at Reading was certainly one of them. It was utterly chaotic, yet utterly brilliant.
    Proof that we had wandered firmly into the world of the absurd came with the 12th of the 12 goals witnessed at what is appropriately nicknamed the Mad Stad.

    Marouane Chamakh, making his first start since January, latched onto a ball over the top and possessed all the composure in the world to lob the ball over Adam Federici. That’s when Early Doors knew for sure that we were through the looking glass.

    But the signs were there before. While their team was populated by youngsters and fringe players, how on earth did Arsenal find themselves 4-0 down to Reading’s second string? How, subsequently, did Reading manage to throw that lead away with Theo Walcott equalising six minutes into added time? And how were there a further four goals in extra-time?

    Utter madness, and even some of the players lost their heads. At the end of a pulsating 90 minutes, Arsenal’s Francis Coquelin and Olivier Giroud both hurled their shirts into the crowd, only to have to go back and retrieve them once they discovered they had to play extra-time.

    This was undoubtedly one of the most incredible games of Arsene Wenger’s 16-year reign at Arsenal, but it had the potential to be one of the very worst.

    Prior to last night Arsenal had scored just once in three games and had hosted an AGM that verged on the mutinous. At 4-0 down a disaffected bunch of supporters even started singing: “we want our Arsenal back.”

    But then they got it back, in an orgy of attacking football and defensive ineptitude that pretty much summed up Arsenal over the past seven years or so.

    There was Laurent Koscielny, last season’s outstanding defender, reduced to a gibbering wreck by Jason Roberts, while at the other end Chamakh was scoring two beauties. None of it made sense, but everything about it was brilliant. If it wasn’t quite the proverbial cricket score then at least it looked a tennis one. “That’s the first set to us,” joked Wenger.

    He added: “We went from disaster to getting some pride because we came back in the second half with a decent performance. It was not one of our priorities but had we gone out the way we could have gone out on the basis of the first half, that would not have been one of my proudest moments at the club so I’m very happy that we came back.”

    As for whether the result was one of his best, Wenger replied: “It may be.”

    The analysis from opposite number Brian McDermott was rather more sober. “This feels like a funeral,” he said. “[It is the] worst defeat of my career.”

    The speculation after the final whistle was whether this was, as the Guardian’s headline declares this morning, “the greatest comeback.” ED would come down on the negative side of that debate. Firstly, Liverpool’s feat in Istanbul, coming in the biggest club game in the world, is indisputably the greatest comeback of all time. It just is.

    Secondly, Arsenal were just the three goals down at half-time. Newcastle were famously four down to the Gunners after 68 minutes of their match in February 2011 but came back to draw. Had they had extra time they probably would have stuck another couple past them too.

    Whether you consider it the best or not, it was certainly one of the most exciting games of football seen in a long, long time. Yesterday on this website ED’s colleague Alex Chick wrote a piece describing English football as “the unhappiest place on earth” due to the swirling vitriol and hatred that has overtaken it. ED couldn’t have agreed more, yet within hours we had an antidote to all that negativity: a brilliant, brilliant match.

    Those 120 minutes reminded us why football is wonderful and thrilling, not that Jason Roberts would have agreed, his furious protests after Walcott scored six minutes into what should have been four added minutes lending a touch of comedy to proceedings.

    In fact the whole occasion felt like high farce: from some disgraceful defending – and even worse goalkeeping from Damian Martinez – to the sight of Chamakh scoring two excellent goals. ED now believes that if all matches lasted 120 minutes, the Moroccan would probably be the Premier League’s top scorer. Clearly he just takes 90 minutes or so to warm up.

    What else did we learn from this occasion? Well, perhaps hat-trick hero Theo Walcott does have the composure required to play through the middle. His first goal was a lovely little finish and if Wenger is still unconvinced by Giroud – or indeed Chamakh – then surely the England international is a better option than Gervinho.

    But to draw any hard and fast conclusions from such a mental match might be reckless. On a glorious night when anything and everything seemed possible, maybe we should just be satisfied with one of the best matches any of us will see.

  177. Hi Scott, you could be right there ….

  178. Ah, the mountain air Clorinda. Clears the head and allows one to view life much more clearly. I envy you. I too have been to Holland a few times this year. The Dutch are a great people. Very romantic. A bit like you Italians really. Nice to have you on HH. The feminine touch is always welcome as football can be a bit “blokey” sometimes.

  179. I have been to holland only once now. But I enjoyed it very much. I liked especially Dordtse Biesbosch. It was very nice and very good for the family.

  180. And the national park of Biesboch is very beautiful.

    I was there with a friend.

    Any people from Holland on HH?

  181. Sorry Peeps,

    For those who have been waiting for a live stream on Man U vs Chelski.


    Now playing. Enjoy.

    C u later.

  182. We stayed at the Postillion Hotel.

    We enjoyed it there. Good thing my friend knows how to speak their language. I know only Italian and English. But no other language.

  183. SteveyP, if we get a home draw in the quarters get yourself down to the Emirates for a tenner.
    If that don’t float your boat and you’d prefer a ticket for Liverpool in the league, you won’t get change out of £60.
    Wenger has always used the competetion to blood the youngsters, it’s great until we meet the big boys in the later rounds who take it much more seriously than us, it is frustrating.

  184. Hi Will,

    It was certainly a game with plenty of ups and downs, the biggest up being Eisfeld :)

    Hi DG and Adam…

    Manure 1-0 up

  185. United are very lucky then to winning again against Chelsea.

  186. Hi Micko, big boys next round me thinks… bet we get the winner of mancs and chelsea…

  187. penalty for Chelsea…

  188. Just back to see that Manure are 2-2.

    And the dippers are 0-1.

    Good Evening my Esteemed Fellow Gunners.

    Had a good old chat at the club. And did a bit of leg pulling as well.

  189. The story has now changed It’s no longer playing as a central striker again but all about regular place

  190. looks like more goals in this match chav 2-3 manure

  191. I am not watching the game. Just following text on the beeb

    Are there any controversies in the game??

  192. Seems as if no one is here. I am off for now mates.

    See you all tomorrow.

  193. Hi devil & emma

    That’s not good emma…

    Chelsea should have just had a penalty

  194. TW should be starting more now, Gerv is injured…

    To be honest, how can he not after last night??

  195. That’s me done for the day guys and gals…

    Have a good one and catch up tomorrow..

    Night all…

  196. Keep ox on the bench. Start Poldi, OG, TW.

  197. H.Webb is the referee for Saturday !!!!….

  198. next round: Bradford v Arsenal

  199. On paper Chelsea look the biggest threat left.
    But Bradford away will be the Bantams cup final.
    That is gonna be a hugely difficult game at a ground where I believe Arsenal have never won…
    So don’t anyone start dreaming of Wembley just yet…

  200. When you consider that under Wenger, Arsenal teams have routinely blown it in this competition, we have no reason to be complacent.
    Losing semi-finals to M’Boro & Wigan, plus that unforgettable balls-up vs Birmingham, are all fresh in my mind…

  201. Rico, I will do you a post for the quarter-finals…
    I’ve got some more cup memories for everyone. :-)

  202. Webb in Saturday? Man u playing with 12 men again.

  203. ive booked tickets & flights from belfast for the match on the 23rd of feb trying to work out what i want cup run or see the match.

  204. Maybe Theo got the spark he needed after his little stint not starting.
    Let us all hope so,as it can only be good for the club.
    Not that he had been playong badly,but an extra 5% incentive can make a massive difference to a player.
    Get us that winner on saturday,Theo.

  205. Capital One Cup Quarter-Final Draw

    Draw in full:

    Leeds v Chelsea
    Swansea v Middlesbrough
    Norwich v Aston Villa
    Bradford v Arsenal

  206. Morning all,

    Thanks Kev..

    Wish we were at home in the next round…

    Good old Swansea and Norwich :)

  207. Lee – can’t believe the Daily Mail are re writing gossip they picked up from Caughtoffside. Doesn’t it tell us all just how far off the mark that paper is when it comes to football rumours :)

  208. You are right Rico…..Caught Offside are a bunch of wankers.
    Evening all!!

  209. Nani is definitely on his way out of OT after Fergie slated him to the media….

  210. Goal.com bleacher and caughtoffside are shite…..

  211. I wouldn’t know that Scott, I don’t know them, but they seem to report any old thing they can make up…

  212. Steady on Lee. The Bleacher Report is my bible.

  213. Oops, sorry. Good morning Rico and Lee.

  214. Morning all..

    Bradford? Do they still have fat Dean Windass? :D

  215. And that old Highbury House Lee, they are rubbish too :lol:

  216. AFC.com

    Walcott sparked the comeback with a well-taken opener and made it 4-4 in stoppage time before firing the visitors ahead as penalties loomed. The 23-year-old has made no secret of his desire to play as a centre forward and Wenger believes he can do a job there.

    “I always said that he will be a striker, so we are on the same wavelength there,” said the manager.

    “First of all he is a good finisher now – the way he scored the first goal. Secondly, I believe he knows where to be in the box on the rebounds. I like that – that’s a quality of a striker that you cannot give to anybody. You feel it or you don’t. He has the qualities to play there and he was superb [on Tuesday night].”

    Wenger reiterated his desire to keep Walcott at Emirates Stadium and praised him for his attitude while negotiations continue.

    “That’s what I hope [that he is a striker at Arsenal],” said Wenger. “I always said that I want to keep him. Apart from [the] contract talks, you have to give him credit for the way he is committed for the team and the way he behaves.”

  217. Morning Adam, now I thought you were a huge fan of the BR … Second only to reading about the Squilster…

  218. Odd that a bloke earning about £60 odd grand a week needs praising for his behaviour and commitment.
    Ah, the modern footballer. What fine men they are.

  219. Morning Tsgh, in fact, Morning Lee, Scott, Adam, Bigs, Will, Kev and anyone else I missed :)


  220. Rico. I like the writers on Bleacher. Seventeen year old American trainee sports journalists have always struck me as the type to have great insight on Arsenal.
    I think we must add Here Is The City to the list of footballing “greats” as well. Rarely have I seen literary excreta so eloquently spread.

  221. Never used to happen to me during my working days ….

    I’m have to go off out, the new post will be up around 9.30ish…

    Be back in a couple of hours…

    Have a good morning …..

  222. Adam, through my Guiness haze a couple of weeks ago, did I notice some ink work on your forearm? Was it the Squilster adorning your arm?

  223. Lee. I was trying to cover it up but the secret is out. See my own tribute site.

  224. I went in to get Oxlade- Chamberlain on my,ahem,downstairs,but had to settle for Ox.

  225. Good morning all,

    I’m going to say this while Rico is out as I know she wont agree.

    We are constantly being “linked” with a host of strikers, we know most of them are about as likely to be signed by Arsenal as Gareth Bale is to give up diving. So why not give Walcott the chance to shine as a central striker? Gervinho is out for a minimum of four weeks, Wenger apparently is not sure about Giroud so it makes sense, at least to me, to give Theo a chance.

  226. You’ve got the wrong Rico,JW lol.

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